Posts Tagged ‘UNSC’

It was a matter of sheer joy and pride for India as it received a record 187 votes to bag a non-permanent seat in the Security Council, highest in the past five years. UNSC – United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.

India, which is a founding member of the UN, is returning to the Security Council after a gap of 19 years. It has been on the Council six times before; having last served in 1992. Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s envoy to the UN, described this as a ‘ringing endorsement.’ Out of the 190 countries that voted, India received 187 votes. While one member state abstained from the vote, three votes were polled against India.

Other countries to be elected as the non-permanent members are South Africa, Colombia, Germany and Portugal. The five new countries will be replacing Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda. Council seats are divided on a regional basis. This year, the seats for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean were uncontested and India, South Africa and Colombia had no trouble mustering the two-thirds majority support of the voting members. The only suspense came in the group known as Western Europe and Others, which had Germany, Canada and Portugal competing for two seats. Canada had to withdraw after the second round as it had received the least number of votes and Portugal appeared poised to defeat Ottawa’s bid.

After the vote, India made it clear that it would be pushing for change in the next two years as it serves out its term as a non-permanent member and is looking forward to permanent membership. Talking about what India can give to the council, Puri reportedly said, “We bring the voice of one-sixth of humanity. We have 63 years of experience in nation building, and I think that is what the UN can use. We have experience in peacekeeping. We would like to transcend that into peace building.”

The composition of the Security Council for its 2011 term is one of the strongest. The new members join Brazil, Nigeria, Lebanon, Gabon and Bosnia-Herzegovina among the 10 non-permanent members. The five permanent veto-wielding members of the council are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. The five new council members will start a two-year term on January first. They will participate in decisions ranging from deploying UN peacekeepers to imposing sanctions, as the council monitors international peace and security.

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